WhatsApp has finally launched a standalone app for smartwatches running Google Wear OS, after much anticipation and months of beta testing.
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday announced the launch of the WhatsApp app for Wear OS which will allow users to start new conversations, reply to messages and receive VoIP calls without requiring them to have their phone connected to them.
The app, which started rolling out today to users worldwide, is compatible with smartwatches running Wear OS 3. The app allows users to send and receive text and voice messages as well as emoji and quick replies right from their wrist.
At its developer-focused I/O conference in May, Google announced the release of the WhatsApp Wear OS app. The app was initially released as a beta version and is expected to be available to the public soon.
During the I/O keynote, Google also unveiled new and improved Wear OS apps from third-party companies, including Spotify and Peloton, as well as announcing updates to its own apps, such as Google Home, Gmail, and Calendar, to provide updated experiences to Wear OS-based smartwatches.
Unlike Wear OS, Apple’s watchOS currently doesn’t have a standalone WhatsApp app. This means users on the Apple Watch get limited experiences, such as no native options to send messages or make calls via WhatsApp through the smartwatch. Apple, however, allows you to view your incoming messages and respond to them via your Apple Watch screen if you have it enabled appropriate notification settings from your iPhone. Nonetheless, the Apple Watch has it continue to dominate the smartwatch market as a whole for some time.
Google is looking to take over the dominance of the Apple Watch by improving Wear OS, as well as adding new manufacturers and bringing new apps and experiences to the platform. At its I/O keynote, the Android maker declared Wear OS the fastest growing smartwatch platform globally fivefold growth was recorded since the release of Wear OS 3 in 2021.